Ash Wednesday

I attended an Ash Wednesday service early yesterday morning. It was my first, and I was quite touched by the somber yet hopeful mood in the sanctuary. Also, it is so tangible and humbling to have someone spread ashes in the shape of a cross on your forehead and speak to you a truth you often forget: From dust you came and to dust you shall return.

It was also a new experience to walk around the rest of the day with what one man called "smudge" on my head, people's stares a constant reminder of the season of Lent I had promised to enter into. Then again, there was another man who, emerging from his car and seeing me and my friend Joanna, simply exclaimed, "Yay, Catholics!" Though I am not Catholic, I had to agree with his sentiment. Catholics, Lutherans, and other more liturgical types definitely know how to bring the beautiful and real to life in faith.

Last year, I gave up my car for Lent and found the experience beneficial. I used my times of walking as times of prayer and donated the gas money I saved to a charity. This year, however, I was not sure what to "give up" for Lent. Every idea I had seemed trite. So, I have decided not to give up but to add on.

Over the last several years I have let slide a spiritual discipline I once loved: prayer journaling. The next 40 days of Lent, then, I pledge to return to the practice. I look forward to what God will show me during this time. Likewise, I invite you, my friends and family, to share with me any prayer requests you may have. Leave them as a comment on my blog or facebook or send me an email. I would love to pray for you on a daily basis!

The Lord be with you.


Nila said...

Thank you for your words about lent. Valuable. Thank you for your offer to pray. Please pray for my son, Mark.
Nila Mulford

Hannah said...

The moment I read your comment, I prayed for Mark, and I will continue to do so each day. I've written down your request and will pray for you, too, as your heart is burdened. I hope your family is well. Thank you for letting me come alongside you.